A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman has mocked the US and the chaotic collapse of the Washington-backed Afghan regime they left behind, as he shared footage of Taliban soldiers using captured aircraft as a swing.
On Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian posted a video on his Twitter account, claiming Afghanistan was the “graveyard of EMPIRES and their WAR MACHINES.” As highlighted by the outspoken Foreign Ministry diplomat, the video shows Taliban troops tying a rope to the wing of a captured aircraft and using it as a swing.
It is understood that the plane being used as a swing was captured by the Taliban forces from the US-backed Afghan government. The Islamist group, which now controls Afghanistan, captured a vast array of US and Western built-military hardware during their rapid advance in the summer months. Although much of it was destroyed during the chaotic withdrawal, the Taliban have inherited billions of dollars of NATO and Afghan army kit.
According to Defense News, citing a July report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, the Afghan Air Force owned 23 A-29 attack aircraft, four C-130 airlifters, and 33 militarized versions of the Cessna Caravan. It also operated some 150 helicopters, including the US-made UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopter and the Soviet Mi-17, which was being retired.